"Reclaiming Accountability: Transparency, Executive Power, and the U.S. Constitution" wins 2014 IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize

Monday, October 6, 2014

Reclaiming Accountability: Transparency, Executive Power, and the U.S. Constitution, by University of Minnesota Law School professor Heidi Kitrosser, has won the 2014 IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize.

The prize was established in 2007 by IIT Chicago-Kent alumnus Roy C. Palmer and his wife, Susan M. Palmer, to honor an exemplary work of scholarship exploring the tension between civil liberties and national security in contemporary American society. Professor Kitrosser, whose book will be published in January 2015 by the University of Chicago Press, will present her work at IIT Chicago-Kent later this academic year.

Professor Heidi Kitrosser of the University of Minnesota Law School is the recipient of the 2014 IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize.
Professor Heidi Kitrosser of the University of Minnesota Law School is the recipient of the 2014 IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize.

In Reclaiming Accountability, Professor Kitrosser explores the tension between Americans' desire for transparency in government and the need for secrecy in matters of national security-two imperatives that are generally considered antithetical. She contends that this is not the case, and that our concern ought to lie not with secrecy per se but with the sort of unchecked secrecy that can result from "presidentialism," or constitutional arguments for broad executive control of information. Taking readers through the key presidentialist assertions-including "supremacy" and "unitary executive theory"- Professor Kitrosser explains how they misread the Constitution in a way that is profoundly at odds with democratic principles.

A member of the University of Minnesota Law School since 2006, Professor Kitrosser teaches and writes in the areas of constitutional law, First Amendment law, and government secrecy. She graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles. She received her J.D. degree from Yale Law School.

Benefactor Roy Palmer, a lawyer and real estate developer, is a 1962 honors graduate of IIT Chicago-Kent and a former member of its board of overseers. Palmer is the recipient of the IIT Chicago-Kent Alumni Association's 2012 Distinguished Service Award and was recently named by the law school as one of "125 Alumni of Distinction." He and his wife, Susan, are active in numerous civic, social and philanthropic organizations.

The IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize was established to encourage and reward public debate among scholars on current issues affecting the rights of individuals and the responsibilities of governments throughout the world. Previous prize recipients include David D. Cole and Jules L. Lobel for their book Less Safe, Less Free: Why America Is Losing the War on Terror (The New Press), Harold H. Bruff for Bad Advice: The President's Lawyers in the War on Terrorism (University Press of Kansas), Scott M. Matheson, Jr., for Presidential Constitutionalism in Perilous Times (Harvard University Press), Gabriella Blum and Philip B. Heymann for Laws, Outlaws, and Terrorists: Lessons from the War on Terrorism (Harvard University Press), Laura A. Dickinson for Outsourcing War and Peace: Preserving Public Values in a World of Privatized Foreign Affairs (Yale University Press), Susan N. Herman for Taking Liberties: The War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy (Oxford University Press), and Ganesh Sitaraman for The Counterinsurgent's Constitution: Law in the Age of Small Wars (Oxford University Press.

Founded in 1888, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law is the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology, also known as Illinois Tech, a private, technology-focused, research university offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, science, architecture, business, design, human sciences, applied technology, and law.